When Pastor Joel Royce, 36, of First Baptist Church of Castle Rock in Washington met his wife, Leslie, years ago, he was a troubled Christian who had lost his way and she was a newly widowed mother of two small children.
A wedding and five more children later, however, Leslie is now facing the possible loss of a second husband as Pastor Royce battles terminal brain cancer.
“It has been hardest on Leslie, as she felt God wouldn’t take another husband from her,” Royce told the Oregon Faith Report of his diagnosis. “The kids have suffered as well, each coming to terms with it in their own way.”
Royce grew up in the United Pentecostal Church where his father had served as a pastor. When he was 15, his father divorced his mother after coming back from the Iraq war a changed man.
“I lost respect for him and religion,” he said of his father.
Royce began to “party and chase girls” until he met Leslie while pursuing a physical education and health degree at Eastern Oregon University. Leslie’s first husband had died 10 months earlier in a logging accident. Shortly after meeting her, Royce felt God gave him a sign that she would be his wife and they eventually got married.
Nearly 11 months ago, Royce was diagnosed with brain cancer and doctors were able to successfully remove a significant portion of the tumor he had in his brain. He is fighting to stay alive for as long as he can.
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Source: Christian Post